We came across a study that explored the various benefits yoga had on women suffering with stress, anxiety, and depression.
This gave us an idea that a systemized exercise which anyone can follow would be the best way to demonstrate the benefits of meditation for coping with mental issues.
1. Find a comfortable position
To ensure your meditation is about your thoughts, you need to remove any external distractions.
This means finding a space where your mind is not pulled out by any loud or distracting sounds. This will involve taking time away from your chores and responsibilities.
There is no requirement as to how you should be seated or how your legs must be kept. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, with your palms on your knees is simply the position of choice for most. If a chair suits you better, go with that.
The only requirement is that be stable and comfortable so you don't shift your weight constantly to alleviate pain or discomfort.
2. Set a time
There is no hard and fast rule saying 15 minutes is what you need to overcome anxiety.
This will be based on how early you can wake up, the daily chores and responsibilities you have, and your experience with meditation. Start small and then work your way up if you feel you can and you feel it will benefit you.
The point is to commit to a general timeframe so you know how long you'll be sitting for, in advance.
3. Play the 15-minute mantra version
This would be exclusive to mantra meditation, but you would play the version of the mantra that fits your timeframe.
4. Focus on your breath
Initially, you will take deep breaths and breathe out slowly until your body achieves its natural rhythm. This will vary from person to person.
5. Observe your thoughts
Once your breathing becomes slow and rhythmic, you can then begin to observe the negative thoughts in your mind.
You are not analyzing them, merely listening to your stream of thoughts when your mind is left unencumbered. Do not set a point in the timeframe you set earlier, when you have to start observing your thoughts.
Only do so, once your breath is settled. If it happens to occur towards the end, that's fine too. You will achieve optimal breathing quicker, the more you practice.
6. Actively listen to or chant the mantra
Once the thoughts slow and settled, you can chant along with the mantra or listen to the words actively.
The mantra is to be thought of as a sequence of sounds or syllables, each of which activates a part of your psyche or body.
The mantra recommended in the exercise is to raise the listener's or chanter's mental and physical stamina. When you chant or actively listen, the sounds will wash over you, rejuvenating your mind and body.
7. Close out the session
Close out the session with a short duration of conscious breathing. This is to return to your emotional center again.
Guided meditations for anxiety or stress, or emotion-specific ones like those for anger and resentment might be more to your liking, if you want the structure of your session defined for you.